Michael Steele vs. Reince Priebus:<br />
Whatâs So Different?<br />

Michael Steele and Reince Preibus 

Last fall, a louder-than-usual Chris Matthews lashed out at Republican National Party chairman Reince Priebus over the GOP purposely toying with coded racial language against President Obama. Matthews was especially displeased with the “joke” then Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney made about Obama’s birth certificate. Matthews cautioned Preibus about the ugliness of such behavior, yet Priebus smugly shrugged it off. He took the same approach to other criticism about troubling Republican commentary on rape, abortion and contraception.

The end result was Mitt Romney being sent back from whence he came, plus the GOP losing what was supposed to be their legitimate shot of seizing control of the Senate. You would think that after such messy losses and the mountain of money wasted on them would’ve spurred the party to dismiss Priebus.

Yet, he’s still around and continuing to espouse the sort of stupidity that may very will lead the GOP into turning the way of the Whig, no Wendy Williams.

Sure, he’s warning the GOP to settle down on impeachment chatter, but only in the interim. He’s feeding the right wing frenzy—namely via tweets asserting that with respect to the IRS scandal, “it's lawlessness and guerrilla warfare and Obama is in the middle of it.” To Preibus, "You have to connect the dots. I said a week ago, look, you don't call for impeachment until you have the evidence." 

Earlier in the week, the RNC chair said in a FOX News interview: “This is not the end of the line, it’s just the beginning, and I’ve got a good feeling that Darrell Issa [House Oversight Committee Chairman (R-Calif.)] is going to be having quite a summer in reviewing what’s been going on here in the White House as far as this scandal is concerned.”

Additionally, Preibus has made some false accusations against the Obama administration, no doubt feeding the machine that continues to keep him paid. However, given the embarrassing losses the Republican Party suffered last year, why is he even in the position to keep blowing kisses to the backsides of the most psychotic sect of the party.

After all, the previous RNC chair, Michael Steele, didn’t enjoy such a luxury—and he had been much better at his job than Preibus has been thus far. In 2010, Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives and made significant gains in the Senate. However, when Steele announced he’d like to extend his run with chair, party leaders expressed anger en masse.

One source told Politico: “His arrogant style, cult of personality and embarrassing mismanagement are sources of great discontent with the major fundraisers of the party.”

So much discontent that they’d have no other choice but to “support the many successful third-party groups.” And so Steele dropped his bid with Preibus winning the election. Steele may have been a controversial chairman, but is he any less controversial than Preibus?

Two months ago, Steele gave an interview in which he blasted Preibus for feigning aloofness over his own actions as RNC chair.

“Reince Priebus was my right hand,” Steele told host Larry O’Connor. “What annoys the heck out of me is that for two years, Reince Priebus was in every room I was in, a part of every major decision I made for how much money we would spend, what we would spend that money on, what the priorities of the RNC would be.”

Steele went on to say that Preibus not only had a hand in the decision-making progress, but that “he recommended to me to go into debt.”

I’d rather take a hammer to my finger than ever vote for a Republican, but I can’t help but notice there’s a bit of a double standard here when it comes to the reactions Michael Steele had with his successes as RNC chair, and Reince Preibus, his losses.

But for the party of birth certificate jokes and constant conspiracy theories, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how such a thing happened.

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter @youngsinick.